Experiences that Flow
The most understood definition for Happiness is: being in a state of joy, satisfaction, and contentment. I find this to be an interesting way to define happiness, because as most of us women and men know, the concept of “being in a state” is highly changeable. We flow with the Earth in waves and cycles of emotions and challenges. We reach peaks of happiness and also dive into moments of deep sadness.
This is how our bodies are made to feel and heal.
As a child, I remember at family gatherings lots of older relatives were coming to me and asking me what I wanted to be when I became an adult. I didn’t know, because I didn’t know I had to become something. I was content in that moment, singing and dancing while flowing with the changing seasons. Their perspectives always centered on money. There was this silent sense of control that they carried within that made me sense their definition of happiness only equaled money and fame.
As I thought about it more when I got older, all I really wanted was to be seen for who I am. As I attended my freshman semester at the Marymount Manhattan College summer program in NYC when I was 18, I delved deeper into the whole happiness concept. It was at the summer program where I met some of my best friends, had the most exciting experiences, and learned the most insightful things from all my inspiring professors.
I started realizing that belonging part of a peaceful and encouraging community made me happy.
Connecting to people that supported me and enhanced my journey as a human being while I was transitioning from my teen years to my early adult hood made me happy. It seems as though an aware and evolved individual is connected to happiness through mindfulness and meaningfulness. So, it is less about searching for that constant state of contentment and more about understanding how to find purpose and meaning behind your day-to-day activities. This moved me to more truths. This quote says it all:
“Stop trying to be happy and look for meaning and fulfillment” – Valeria Lipovetsky
The minute you feel like someone (including you) is trying to force happiness upon you, know that this is wrong. It should never be a forced emotion. Like love, happiness flows smoothly once it is connected to people/places/things that inspire you to grow, express, and create. Once we begin honestly engaging with ourselves and with others from a space of authenticity, we start to feel and experience true meaning and belonging. Think about what you have to offer the world. It can be the simplest thing or the most special thing to you: your kindness, your talents, your awareness, your friendship. This adds value and purpose to your being and automatically inspires happiness to rise within you.
Happiness, then, is more of a byproduct of living in your truth and listening to your heart and soul.
Try to get into the mindset of soul-purpose and connection. This is where your vision and passion work together to birth something unique and beautiful.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” – Oprah
Whether that is creating a business, forming deeper friendships, or volunteering for your favorite cause, be in a state of creativity, which is ultimately a mindset that encourages you to never stay stagnant in your thoughts, ideas, or actions.
“The only joy in the world is to begin.” — Cesare Pavese
That intimate space of beginning is where your purpose will rise from. While society and culture may distort the concept of happiness to try to control it as a superficial means to an end, simply replace happiness with “meaning”. Is your soul experiencing a life that is meaningful to you? Are you kind to others? When I am not working or running errands, I focus on what I am beginning. Whether that is a passion project writing poetry or creating magical moments with dear friends, happiness tends to rise from those experiences of authenticity and love.
When we can love and when we are loved, this is belonging. It creates the deepest sense of meaning and purpose, which enables us to feel the deepest gratitude of connection with ourselves and others (a puppy, a parrot, a friend, a family member, or even a beach).
However you find compassion, kindness, connection, and meaning, there you will also birth happiness in its purest form.
In your commitment and desire to keep reaching for your heart, this is how you will transcend the illusion of forced happiness and embody the actions of authenticity, creativity, serving the greater good, and appreciating your journey day by day.
How have you found and/or evolved your sense of happiness in your busy lives?